Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has reportedly approved the country’s first portal for initial coin offerings (ICOs). The main purposes of these portals are to screen tokens, perform due diligence, ensure project consistency with its whitepaper, and verify the know-your-customer process.
Also read: SEC Chair Explains Key Upgrades Needed for Bitcoin ETF Approval
First ICO Portal
The board of directors of the Thai SEC has approved the country’s first portal for initial coin offerings (ICOs), the Bangkok Post reported Wednesday. The news outlet explained:
ICO portals help screen ICOs, conduct due diligence, prove smart contract source codes and verify the know-your-customer process.
At the time of this writing, the SEC website still shows no ICO portal or ICO issuer has been approved. However, Archari Suppiroj, director of the fintech department at the commission, told the publication that “Thailand’s first authorised ICO portal is being finalised for official approval with the relevant government agencies such as the Commerce Ministry.”
The SEC, Thailand’s primary regulator of the crypto industry, detailed that interested ICO issuers must first be approved by an ICO portal before applying for approval with the SEC. Its website describes eligible ICO investors. Besides institutions and high net worth individuals such as those with at least 70 million baht (~$2.21 million) worth of assets or at least 25 million baht of investments, venture capital firms and private equity funds can also invest. In addition, retail investors can invest up to 300,000 baht per ICO project.
Crypto Operators in Thailand
According to the Bangkok Post, Suppiroj revealed that approximately seven or eight companies have had pre-consultations with the SEC to operate ICO portals. Without naming a specific company, she said the approved operator is a foreign entity.
At the time of this writing, Bitherb Co. Ltd., a joint venture between Japanese crypto exchange Bitpoint Japan and Asia Herb Association Bangkok Co. Ltd., is the only approved foreign company listed on the Thai SEC website to operate digital currency businesses in the country.
In addition to the four licenses obtained from the Thai regulator, Bitpoint Japan also recently announced that it is pursuing a license to operate an ICO portal in Thailand. A representative of the Japanese exchange told news.Bitcoin.com that “Bitherb did acquire [four] licenses but will begin to operate after [the] SEC inspects the company within 180 days after license acquisition (by July 30th, 2019).”
The three existing digital asset exchanges in Thailand are Bitcoin Co. Ltd., Bitkub Online Co. Ltd., and Satang Corp. Furthermore, Coins Th. Co. Ltd. has been approved as a digital asset broker and dealer.
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